COLORADO: Anglers Can’t Wrong, Fly Fishing, Spin-Casting or Trolling

Early June has brought a mixed outlook for anglers across the state. While stream fishermen bemoan high, discolored water almost everywhere, their still-water counterparts have been finding some of the best fishing of the entire year. On the downside, the annual spring runoff, fueled by an exceptionally heavy snowpack in almost every major river basin, is in full swing. With recent warm temperatures, free-flowing rivers have been rising daily. With continued warm weather in the immediate forecast, the trend is expected to continue.

The Colorado Water Conservation Board is monitoring streams and rivers on both sides of the Continental Divide, especially in the northern part of the state, and has warned of potential flooding in parts of the Yampa River drainage. The CWCB also is watching conditions on Front Range streams such as Clear Creek at Georgetown, the Big Thompson in Estes Park and the Cache La Poudre in the vicinity of Fort Collins and Greeley, and Denver Water has issued an advisory for unusually high flows expected in the Blue River below Dillon Dam.

With many tributary creeks also swollen with snowmelt, and even some streams below dams running high, the Frying Pan River below Ruedi Dam and the several tailwater sections of the South Platte at present offer the best prospects for stream fishing.

The scene is much brighter for lake fishermen. Water temperatures are slowly rising, and trout are active in the popular mid-elevation lakes and reservoirs. Anglers can hardly go wrong, whether fly fishing, spin-casting, trolling or fishing with a variety of baits, where permitted. Warmer weather also has opened up additional higher-elevation waters such as Steamboat Lake and Taylor Reservoir.

Though the season has been a bit delayed, trout are hungry there. As winter loosens its grip and additional segments of the high country become accessible, anglers are celebrating the hot times of ice-out fishing in a mountain setting. Early June also is a peak time for warmwater fishing. Water temperatures have climbed into an optimal range and the bite is on. Crappie have been active in northern Front Range impoundments such as Lonetree, Boedecker and Boyd reservoirs, as well as southeastern waters including John Martin Reservoir and Blue Lake (Adobe Creek

In the southwest, Navajo Reservoir features good fishing for crappie. Fishing with live minnows and small jigs are favorite techniques for
crappie; brushy areas of a lake or the rip rap along a dam face are productive areas. Fishing for smallmouth bass has been consistently good at Horsetooth Reservoir. Boyd Reservoir offers both largemouth and smallmouth bass, and Pueblo Reservoir is a perennial favorite among bass fishermen. Walleyes, wipers, white bass, channel catfish and bluegills complete the list of Colorado’s common warmwater species.

With summer finally here, the time is right to catch some.

Division of Wildlife
Fishing Information

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